No Thanks is a great little card game designed by Thorsten Gimmler. In German, the game is called called “Geschenkt!” My nephew living in Germany says that game title translates to “No Way!” in English.
Games don’t get much simpler than this. There is a small deck of cards – with numbers ranging from 3 to 35 (that’s 33 cards). And there are 55 small plastic betting chips. Aside from the rules sheet, that’s all there is in the box. The card backs look like gift wrapping. You are basically saying No Thanks to a gift.
The idea of the game is simple – Obtain the least amount of points during each round. Everyone is given the same number of betting chips at the start of each round (based on the number of players). The game can be played with 3-7 players. Players want to accumulate as few points as possible during the game. Cards are worth 1 point for each number of the card. Betting Chips are worth -1 point (that’s minus 1 point for chips).
Nine cards are randomly removed from the deck and taken out of play each round. The remaining 24 cards are played in the first round. The top card is flipped over in the center of the table, face-up. On their turns, each player must decide: Either they take the card and puts it in front of themselves, giving him/her points equal to the value printed on the card, or they decline the card by putting one of their chips next to it. The turn to play passes clockwise, and the next player faces the same decision: Either accept the card (including the chip/s), or decline it and pay one of his own chips. The game goes on this way until all cards have found someone willing to accept them. The player with the fewest points wins the round. So if you have a “7” and “33” in front of you, you get 40 points, less the amount of Betting Chips you are still holding.
There is one catch to scoring though. “Sequences” are a good thing. You only count the lowest card in a sequence as points. So only “unbroken sequences” count as points. If you wound up with cards 15-16-17, you only take 15 points. If you wound up with 15-16-17 and 3-4, you only take 15+3 points = 18 points.
That’s it. That’s the game play. It sounds so easy, and yet it’s very fun. Your decision to pass might seem easy at first. If the first card flipped over is 34, you’re obviously going to say “No Thanks” and add a chip. But what if there are 15 chips on it after 15 passes by everyone. Now it only counts as 19 (34 card points minus 15 chip points). It might be worth grabbing that card and all those chips. Plus if/when 33 or 35 come out, no one will want them, and you will likely pick them up with chips on them later in the game. Plus if you run out of chips you HAVE to take the next card that comes up every time until you obtain more chips on cards that have been passed. So maybe that 34 is looking mighty fine!
We usually play 3 to 4 rounds to determine an overall winner.
No Thanks Pros:
Fun for all ages! The box says ages 8 & up and that seems about right.
- The game is very simple to teach. This game is taught within 5 minutes, and very easy to pick up.
- Fun/Difficult decisions. I know there are only two choices: “Add a chip and say No Thanks!”, or “Pick up the one card and the chip(s)” – But that choice can be difficult. You’ll be calculating your odds by: the cards you’ve taken; the cards remaining in the deck; the cards others have taken; your chips remaining; and others’ chips remaining. If you have a 33 already, and a 32 comes up. Do you want to grab it right away? Or toss a chip on it and hope it comes all the way around back to you?
- Removing 9 cards is genius. There’s no guarantee your sequence can occur. This makes decisions even more difficult.
- Card stock is a good quality
- Size. This game box is only 4″x5″x1″. So it travels well. (I keep a rubber band around the box to keep from losing anything).
- Price. The game retails for $12.99. Very fair.
No Thanks Cons:
- Chips are kind of small. I’m being a little picky here, but the chips might be a little too small. They’re more like tiddlywinks. Very easy to lose one on the floor. Poker sized betting chips would have been nicer.
This is a wonderful party game, and a great family game. It’s very simple to teach and is very fun to play. The price is right, and it travels well. It’s a great “light game” for taking to grandma’s house and on group vacations. Please stop playing luck-based games like Uno and pick up better games like No Thanks! Check Prices at Amazon.com.